Winter minestrone with pesto croûtes

Winter minestrone with pesto croûtes

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(49 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 4

Keep the winter out and warmth in with nutritious minestrone and pesto croûtes

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
  • Easily doubled / halved
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
274
protein
13g
carbs
28g
fat
13g
saturates
3g
fibre
8g
sugar
12g
salt
2.56g

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 100g unsmoked lardons or chopped streaky bacon
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1l vegetable stock (from granules or a cube)
  • 2 tsp chopped sage leaves, or 1 tsp dried
  • few cabbage leaves, shredded
  • 400g can haricot beans
  • handful chopped parsley

For the pesto croutes

  • slices of crusty bread
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pesto

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Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and lardons or bacon and fry for about 5 mins until the onion is starting to brown. Tip in the carrots, celery, potato and garlic, stir well and cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, stock and sage, and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce heat to simmer and cook partly covered for 30 mins, stirring in the cabbage after 15 mins. Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan with the parsley. Season and serve with pesto croûtes, see right, or crusty bread.
  3. For the pesto croûtes: Cut 3-4 slices of crusty bread into chunks, about 2cm thick. Tip into an ovenproof pan. Mix the olive oil and pesto, then add to the bread, tossing it with your hands until the croûtes are evenly coated. Bake in a moderate oven for about 10 mins until crisp.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2006

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Comments

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Frantic Flapjack's picture
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Lovely winter soup. I tweaked it a bit - I replaced the bacon with mushrooms and put in a few handfuls of spinach at the end in place of the cabbage and replaced the potato with a couple of handfuls of small pasta.

Sammiegirl's picture
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Just made this delicious soup. Tweaked it after reading everyone else's comments. Use passata and grate potato to give a nice thick base. If you're using stock cubes and bacon be careful as this could get salty. Finely chopped sprouts are nicer than cabbage and any mix of beans will do. Croutes are in the oven I can't wait!!

kerryp30's picture

One of my favorite soup recipes, so easy and economical to make.

Its easy to add what ever veg you have in the fridge to use up especially peppers and any variety of tinned beans seems to work well.

I alway end up adding quite a lot of cabbage as it a good way of using it up but I have added peas for some extra colour too.

A really fab soup, everyone in work always comments how nice it smells when I take it for lunch.

moocou's picture

Found it wonderful and super enjoyable! Will definitely be making it again, didn't put in the celery though and it still was wonderful, only problem was with potatoes taking longer than stated to cook but other than that it was a pure delight!

maryechappell's picture
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Great soup, used a pak choi instead of cabbage and added half a yellow pepper both which I had in.

marieb1's picture
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Very tasty. I left out the bacon and forgot to add the mushrooms in their place, but it was really good as it was. Will make again.

grannytracey's picture
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just made this, with a few "tweeks" i.e. no potatoe, and no cabbage in our village on an island off Hong Kong, so used some local "greens" and some broken pieces of spaghetti and finally stirred some basil oil just before serving with grated parmesan on top... very very good !!!

jgavin85's picture
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really nice and easy to make. i didnt use any bacon potato or beans. used cabbage, green beans and broken wholemeal spaghetti instead and everybody enjoyed it! also didnt use the croutons as trying to be good so just added a little pesto to the finished bowl. feel like you can use the base and pretty much add what you've got available. will definately be making this again trying out all the different ways suggested!

Suffolk Primrose's picture
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Yum yum. made exactly as recipe but can see lots of variations possible!

coolruth's picture

Very tasty. I missed out the cabbage but did add cornflour to thicken as it was rather watery. I think this would also be nice thickened with lentils.

donnadrew's picture
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We really enjoyed this filling tasty soup! I left out the celery, & added some broken spaghetti with the cabbage. Really good - will be making again!!

rainbowrosebuds's picture
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lovely filling soup. really easy to alter to suit your own taste. i left out bacon and added frozen peas and spaghetti pieces at the same time as the cabbage. will definitely be making again!!

pwrpuff83's picture

Making as we speak, but is it just me or does that calorie count look way too low...? Still, looks lovely!

janeedlington's picture
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Great comfort food. I made a garlic butter for the croutes instead of pesto.

mian8910's picture
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Me and my boyfriend really enjoyed it!!!It was very nice and filling, but didn't feel too much, it tastes amazing, will definitely make it again!!!

yorkshirejen's picture
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This is a real winner, but it's the pesto croutes that are the star! People may very soon get sick of me putting them on everything I cook. Left out the potato and put wholewheat spaghetti in instead, then reheated the next day and slung in some fried leeks and butterbeans. Just fab - you could go on tweaking this recipe forever.

rachkharris's picture

Delicious and bags of flavour!

loopylinny's picture
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I made a few changes to this soup but it turned out really well so I thought that i'd share them with everyone. Firstly I seasoned well and added a pinch of chilli flakes to give it a bit of a kick. I also roughly blended half of the mixture before adding the beans to thicken it up a bit and added some conchigliette pasta which made it wonderfully tasty and filling. I also left out the bacon because I wanted a veggie option. I would highly recommend!

sozzer99's picture
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this is my favourite winter soup/stew recipe, and even if youre short of a couple of ingredients it doesnt matter - it still tastes great, and many of them are interchangabel with other vegetables such as sweet potato, kidney beans etc.

ossie70's picture
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This was a great soup for all the family. My children loved the pesto croutes.

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